Skip to main content

Using Research Indicators

This guide provides information about indicators that can be used as a measure of research performance

Using Indicators of research quality, engagement and impact

Many indicators are used to benchmark research activities. These indicators should be used to inform and backup any discussion and analysis about research performance and achievement. These indicators should not be used as a substitute for expert judgment. For more information in the context of JCU, see the JCU Research Performance Model.

The types of metrics presented in this LibGuide are:

  • Publication and citation metrics: these are widely used indicators of research performance and achievement.
  • Journal metrics: must be used with caution because they are calculated as an average of the citation performance of a journal and do not provide a direct indication of the performance of individual research outputs or researchers.
  • Collaboration metrics, altmetrics and public engagement: other indicators that can provide useful information.

Information used in this LibGuide is adapted from the following sources:

For more information about the JCU context, go to the JCU Research Performance Model (login with your JCU username and password).

Snowball Metrics

This LibGuide presents indicators that are defined by the Snowball Metrics approach. Snowball metrics are a set of metrics designed to standardise the reporting and benchmarking of research. The aim is to eventually inform all areas of research activity. Agreement on methodologies, which can be consistently applied to research management information, creates consistency and facilitates benchmarking between peer institutions. This helps to establish a reliable foundation for institutional strategic decision making, to complement existing approaches.

Snowball Metrics symbolThis Snowball Metrics snowflake symbol is used wherever a Snowball Metrics category is used in this LibGuide.

More information about Snowball Metrics is available on the Snowball Metrics website.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country